Racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Gianvito Rossi by former employee claims bosses were ‘racially disparaging’
TENNIS star Serena Williams is at the centre of a lawsuit which claims she was branded “disgusting” by “racially disparaging” managers at a luxury shoe company.
The racial discrimination lawsuit against Gianvito Rossi has been filed by former employee Whitney Wilburn, who is black.
She alleges that Williams was denied the same discounts as white celebrities and claims her own boss was “hostile based upon [her] race and age.”
According to News Australia, Wilburn was brought into run Gianvito Rossi’s Manhattan boutique in 2015.
But she was apparently met with immediate hostility by boss Grace Mazzilli, who “left no doubt about [her] racial animosity toward African-Americans.”
In regards to Williams, the lawsuit adds: “For instance, when the world famous athlete Serena Williams, via her staff, asked for a discount on her extensive purchases, Gianvito managers responded with racially disparaging comments about Ms.Williams which made it clear that the company did not want African-American women to wear its shoes.
“[They] referred to Ms.Williams as ‘disgusting’ and refused to offer any discount.
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“When later pressured to do so by a contact at Vogue magazine, they offered only a fraction of the discount that white celebrities usually receive.”
Wilburn was sacked in January 2017 and claims she was replaced by a “much younger white man”, while her old boss Mazzilli “threw numerous elaborate parties and social events for all boutiques managed by white employees… while never once holding an event for [her] store.”